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Review: Motorola Droid Turbo for Verizon Wireless

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Nov 3, 2014, 8:30 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Motorola is back in the game with the Droid Turbo, its flagship Android smartphone for Verizon Wireless. The Turbo is a worthy addition to the storied line of Verizon Droids, despite a few flaws. Here is Phone Scoop's full report.

Is It Your Type?

The Motorola Droid Turbo is for one class of user: Those who demand the absolute best battery life. With a 3,900 mAh power source buried inside, the Droid Turbo outlasts most other devices on the market. It doesn't hurt that it's rather attractive and comes with some compelling Motorola extras. If battery life is your bane, then the Droid Turbo just might be your boon.


I think it's fair to say the Droid Turbo is a souped-up Moto X with more conservative design language. The Turbo has an entirely different outer appearance when compared to the Moto X (and Nexus 6.) It loses the aluminum frame and customizable rear shells of the X, for example. Instead, the glass front is framed in polycarbonate and the edges and back surface are made from either metalized carbon fiber or ballistic nylon. Pick your poison. The nylon is fractionally thicker and heavier, but honestly only a scale and set of calipers can tell the difference. The texture and appearance are different between the two materials. The Turbo is available in either black or red.

It has a clean, modern look to it. I like the juxtaposition between the glossy front and the matte back surface. The phone has a bit of a wedge shape to it; it's thicker at the top than at the bottom. The bottom (which Motorola calls the "chin") almost comes to a point. Were it not for the microUSB port, it probably would. The back surface is gently curved towards the side edges. The shape makes it comfortable to hold and use. It slips into pockets with ease. Thanks to the 5.2-inch screen, the Turbo may be too big for some people. Motorola did what it could to minimize the bezels surrounding the screen, which helps keep the footprint from being monstrous. The build quality and materials are quite good.


The front surface is all black on both models. There's a small lip running around the outer edge of the screen. It's subtle enough that you can hardly tell it's there. The Turbo uses three capacitive keys for controlling the operating system. I found them to work well. I like that the haptic feedback is optional. There's an odd notch carved out of the top of the glass panel to make room for the earpiece. It abuts the polycarbonate frame and leaves two obvious gaps that I don't care for all that much.

Only two buttons adorn the side edges: the lock screen button and volume toggle. Both are located on the right. The screen lock button is set fairly close to the top of the phone. It has an excellent profile, so I had no trouble finding it. Travel and feedback weren't all that satisfying. Like last year's Droids, the Turbo combines the volume toggle and SIM card tray. The idea may be clever in theory, but it's a disaster in practice. The volume toggle has a narrow profile that makes it hard to find. It's impossible to tell the up from the down, and neither directional provides good feedback. If you want to remove the SIM card, you have to really dig your fingernail into the bottom edge of the button. The entire button and SIM tray assembly eventually slide out. I think Motorola could have executed this design better.

You'll find the stereo headset jack on top and the micro-USB port on the bottom. The camera module and Motorola logo are in their customary positions near the top on the back surface.

Some users may be disappointed to learn that the battery is sealed inside. Like many of today's phones, Motorola chose to prioritize the design over functionality. That said, few can complain about the size of the Turbo's battery, which is a whopping 3,900 mAh. It's 59% bigger than the Moto X's battery, and is rated for 48 hours of use.

In all, there's nothing objectionable about the Droid Turbo's hardware except for perhaps the SIM card tray.

About the author, Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.

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Doom Wolf

Nov 3, 2014, 11:46 AM

Great review!

I just wish the camera was a little bit better to. But, oh well.
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